Monday, August 18, 2014

Ignorance is Bliss...

Remember the tag-line in my blog header that says something like...All about my adventures at garage sales, estate sales, flea markets, antique shops and LIFE? Well, this post is about the LIFE part, so if your're a reader looking for a vintage fix, you may not find this post up your alley. I'm posting it because it's about my life and what's going on right now. It's mostly for my benefit as I work through/figure out/learn/process.

For the past two weeks, my facebook feed has been blown up with friends and family members taking the ALS ice bucket challenge. At first I chuckled at everyone's squeals when the icy water was poured over them. After a while, it seemed everyone was doing it. Part of me wondered if I'd get nominated to take the challenge. Part of me thought I'd squeak by unnoticed. In the back of my mind I could see myself doing it, and nominating someone else. It's for a good cause, right? Bringing attention and money to further research for finding a cure for ALS-seems like a no-brainer. Sign me up-I want to comes the sticky part...

Today, I read something that was a huge eye-opener. It was a blog post educating readers of the ALSA's endorsement of using embryonic stem cells in research to try to find a cure for ALS. My first response was just thinking to myself, I didn't know that. Next, I went to their website to see if I could find out for sure what their stance was.Their website explains what embryonic stem cells are and the different types, and that while they represent a "major medical breakthrough" they have also raised "a great deal of ethical questions."

So, then I wondered if there was a way to use embryonic stem cells without destroying the embryo. I couldn't find a single site that said it could be safely done without destroying the embryo. By that point, I was glad that no one has nominated me, because it represents a moral dilemma for me. I'm pro-life. I believe that an embryo is a human life, and not just some cells that have come together. I've stood out on the street in my town for years on Right to Life Sunday with my kids and by myself, in a silent vigil, praying and trying to bring awareness to what abortion is really doing. I've participated in a local run/walk to raise awareness called Run for Their Lives.

Then, as I'm sitting on the couch with my laptop, watching t.v.with my son while skipping around on several sites, I get a pop-up that my aunt has nominated me. So, now I'm at the point where the rubber meets the road. I have a few different options. I could ignore it and hope it goes away (put my head in the sand), but know even if I sneak by everyone else, I will still have my aunt asking me why I didn't do it. I could just do it and pretend I didn't find that article earlier. I could post a comment on facebook, which more than likely will get misinterpreted by someone, and I'll look like I'm acting all holier than thou, when I'm not. I could quietly just donate money to another pro-life ALS research organization,  I could post the article that I read and try to explain my reasons for not participating, or, or, or I could come up with a bunch of reasons/decisions/options and do nothing.

A couple of people in my own household think I'm making a big deal about nothing and that I should just let it go, ignore it, it will go away. I thought about it, but something keeps gnawing at me. Had I been challenged a couple of hours earlier, I would have done the challenge, and nominated three more people to accept the challenge because I didn't know all the details. I'm wondering if I'm not the only one who thought it sounded like a good cause to raise funds and awareness for with a fun thing, that everyone seems to be doing, without understanding the underlying issue of embryonic stem cell research.

I really had to dig and search to find a research facility that only uses adult stem cells, or umbilical cord cells and not embryonic stem cells. I can and will make a donation to that facility, because according to their website they value human life and do not consider embryonic stem cell research an option.

I'm not trying to diminish the need for research and a cure for ALS by any means. It is a terrible disease and my heart goes out to people suffering with it, and people who have watched loved ones suffer with it and have lost or are losing their loved ones to it. I just wish there were more organizations out there that could help fight for a cure without using embryonic stem cells.

It seems like any way that I respond to this had the potential to offend or hurt someone's feelings. So, I've decided that I will contact my Aunt, privately and explain why I can't do it for, but that I will do a donation to another facility that matches better with my beliefs. Then I guess if anyone sends me a message asking why I didn't do it, I can privately reply to them my reasons. I'm pretty certain that everyone who really knows me, already knows where I fall on the whole pro-life pro-choice stance anyway, I just don't think they'll realize that it is tied into this decision. I had no clue that it could be tied into icy water, squeals, laughter and trying to do something helpful and good.

When I came home from work tonight, I was looking forward to a quiet evening, vegging out, and not thinking about anything more than getting dinner on the table because this week has already been a roller coaster-and it's only Monday!!


  1. First, I was to say that I admire you for your convictions and don't envy the choices you have to make. Second, I am glad you researched and gave your money to an entity that seems to follow your beliefs. Many of us must make decisions based on our personal beliefs, be they religious, political or otherwise. I must also say that I am pro-choice and know that it is necessary to agree to disagree. By the way, I just found your blog, and this is the first entry I read. Maybe there is something to keep me visiting, maybe not, but what you said in this entry is admirable, and I just wanted to let you know.

  2. Good for you, you listened to that "still small voice". Often people don't look into an organization and its policies, or they ignore their conscience. I'm glad to hear you made the right choice.

  3. Great post. Glad you stood up for what you believe. I'm pro-life as well and it can be a tough stand in the world. Stacey